What is FSH?
FSH stands for follicle-stimulating hormone and is a type of gonadotropin involved in regulation of various reproductive activities of the human body.
FSH is a protein molecule produced by the anterior pituitary gland and is both present in males and females. For females, this hormone is responsible for the growth and maturity of ovarian follicles. And when certain follicles mature, FSH allows for the dominant follicle to be ovulated first. In males meanwhile, FSH is involved in sperm production.
FSH also has its functions when a person starts his/her puberty stage and when females go through their menopausal stage. During puberty, levels of this hormone will start to increase to help prepare the male and female reproductive processes. In women, highest FSH levels are recorded during the time of ovulation. And as a particular woman ages and goes to the menopausal stage, FSH levels will continue to increase as there will be less follicles or eggs for stimulation. In males meanwhile, it is not a good sign to have very high levels of FSH circulating in the body, as this may indicate problems in spermatogenesis. But on the other hand, FSH levels may also be too low for both males and females. This particular condition may be a sign of under-performing gonads.
Since FSH plays a big role in a female’s reproductive system, it is sometimes used as an injection to help women with infertility problems. Because of FSH, women will have increased chances of producing and developing mature eggs, which are essential for ovulation and possible conception with the male sperm counterpart. FSH therapy also increases the chance of conception, because injections are timed and eggs may be “pushed” for ovulation at a time when they are considered mature. Mature eggs may also be taken at a specified time to increase chances for in-vitro fertilization procedures.